Some days, two words, "wild feeling," sum up as much of rock 'n' roll as we need. The latest track from Olympia, Wash. band Milk Music seconds that emotion -- and then punctuates it, roaring start to roaring finish.
Youth Lagoon's second album, "Wondrous Bughouse," captures the mercurial cerebrum of a 20-something thinker with aural examples of torturous moments in young adulthood. In lieu of conversation, Trevor Powers will exorcise his chronic anxiety by making records with vistas of psychedelic musical plains. These pathways to Powers' mind funnel in the ambience of the Cocteau Twins and mysticism of Tangerine Dream.
Not exactly a master, yet much more than a dabbler, Jimbo Mathus occupies that great middle ground of American roots rock. Like so many before him, Mathus gets by with mixture of moxie and sweat; a basic understanding of blues, country and rock 'n' roll tropes; and a willingness to wear one's heart on one's sleeve while never stepping too far outside a certain worldly toughness.
The room smelled like cigarettes, perfume and cold air. The pre-concert hum of the Old Rock House crowd, waiting on Bass Drum of Death, was punctuated by a guy telling the girl next to me that he was actually, right then, in the middle of composing a blues ballad. Really now? She sipped her drink, politely.
Heavy on the bass, heavy on the psychedelics, Unknown Mortal Orchestra still manages to make music that lifts far off the dirty, fuzzy rock 'n' roll ground.
Lissie is no country sweetheart. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed Rock Island, Ill. native gained recognition with her rustic, yet beautifully serene voice that put an unusual spin on a number of covers from Lady Gaga, Kid Cudi and Metallica. Her debut album, Catching a Tiger, however, offers an interesting mixture of less immediately commercial tunes.